Better late than never. The much-awaited sewage treatment plant will finally see light of the day and may give some respite to residents of the city and villages, living alongside sewage drains, especially the ones situated in the vicinity of the river Ghaggar, from the foul smell emanating from these drains.
Constructed over an area of six acres at a cost of Rs 27 crore, the plant is expected to be commissioned in the coming month as the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on Thursday gave its nod for a new power connection of 1300 kilowatt to the Patiala Municipal Corporation for running the treatment plant.
In the absence of a sewage treatment plant, untreated sewage was so far being discharged directly in 'Chhoti Nadi' passing through the outskirts of city, which later on fell in the river ghaggar.
Acting on the complaints of local residents, the Punjab pollution control board authorities took notice of the direct discharge of sewage into Ghaggar and directed the civic body authorities to come up with sewage treatment plant at the earliest.
As per available information, around 46 million litre of sewage water will be treated at the sewage plant and then discharged into 'Chotti nadi'.
Patiala Mayor Amarinder Bajaj said the treatment plant will not only help in discharging treated water into Ghaggar but also make the water fit for irrigation of agriculture fields and for construction purposes.
"We have had a contract with some private company which would manage and maintain sewage treatment plant for five years before handling it to Patiala civic body for further use", Bajaj said.
"The plant will be commissioned by the last week of February", he said.
However, the commissioning of the treatment plant would put a financial burden on the municipal corporation as it will have to make arrangements for Rs 45 to 50 lakh per month to pay the electricity bill for running the plant.
"It would surely increase financial liabilities of the civic body as arranging such a huge amount separately would remain a herculean task for us", he said.